At trial, a legal team is generally not allowed to use a deposition as evidence. Depositions generally serve as a basis to uncover evidence appropriate for a trial setting. However, certain exceptions exist. An attorney may use a deposition to establish a contradiction in a witness’s testimony, when witnesses are unavailable at trial and in certain other instances.
Tips for a Successful Deposition
It is understandable that a witness might feel nervous leading up to their testimony. Below are a few tips to help witnesses avoid stress as they prepare for a deposition.
Your Attorney Is Your Best Resource
In the lead up to a deposition, an experienced mesothelioma attorney will be there to help strategize and answer any and all questions their client has. A witness should be honest with their attorney and feel free to ask them any questions. The attorney is there to advocate for their client’s interests and will help their client present themselves in the best light possible.
Always Tell the Truth
It is very important that witnesses tell the truth at a deposition. A witness in a deposition is answering questions under oath. This means there may be penalties if they are caught lying. Attorneys will often ask questions they already know the answer to. They may immediately know if a statement is false.
Don’t Engage in Guesswork
Part of telling the truth at a mesothelioma deposition requires witnesses to be honest about what they do and do not know. A person being deposed should not speculate or guess about a person’s asbestos exposure and medical history. If a witness does not know an answer to a question, they should say so. It is normal for a witness to not have perfect knowledge of the facts and events of an asbestos case.
If a question is confusing or unclear, a witness is free to ask for clarification or to have the attorney rephrase the question.
Experienced Mesothelioma Law Firms Exist to Help Witnesses Prepare for Depositions
Depositions are an important part of any lawsuit. Successful depositions may lead to a favorable settlement, may help uncover evidence useful to a mesothelioma plaintiff’s lawsuit and/or lead to a verdict for the victim at trial. An experienced mesothelioma law firm can help manage expectations and make the entire process less stressful.